27 November 2020
Seventy-fifth Session, 7th Meeting (AM)

Second Committee Approves Three Resolutions, including One on Protecting Global Climate for Present, Future Generations

The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) today approved three draft resolutions, including one urging Member States and other stakeholders to bolster collective action in tackling negative impacts of the COVID‑19 pandemic on agriculture development, food security and nutrition.

Further to that draft, on “Agriculture development, food security and nutrition” (document A/C.2/75/L.56), approved without a vote, the General Assembly would stress the need for urgent action to recover momentum in ending hunger and malnutrition.  It would underline the importance of addressing hunger’s causes and effects and promoting improved nutrition as well as sustainable agriculture and food systems.

Addressing the text, the European Union’s delegate said COVID‑19 could trigger hunger crises around the world, adding that the current resolution should provide a blueprint for food security.  The United Kingdom’s representative said States must urgently rethink future environmental action and climate change, as 2021 will be a critical year for addressing global food challenges.

The Committee then approved a draft on “Protection of global climate for present and future generations of humankind” (document A/C.2/75/L.26/Rev.1), by which the Assembly would express concern that Paris Agreement contributions are insufficient.   Action is needed to hold the increase in global average temperature at well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, it emphasizes.

By further terms, the Assembly would underscore the need to enhance adaptive capacity, strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability to climate change and extreme weather events.  It would urge Member States to continue engaging in adaptation planning and enhance cooperation on disaster risk reduction.

Speaking to that draft, China’s delegate said the international community must uphold multilateralism and inject new impetus into global action against climate change.  The Russian Federation’s representative expressed concern over attempts in consultations to push a unilateral approach, as the coronavirus places an unprecedented burden on global health systems and employment.

Belize’s delegate, speaking for the Alliance of Small Island States, said the resolution falls short on funding assistance to combat climate change, stressing that developed States are legally obliged to provide it.  Similarly, India’s representative accused developed countries of moving the goalposts, urging them to stop revising targets and implement climate funding commitments.

Rounding up the meeting, the Committee approved a text titled “United Nations Conference on the Midterm Comprehensive Review of the Implementation of the Objectives of the International Decade for Action, ‘Water for Sustainable Development’, 2018‑2028”.  By that draft, the Assembly would decide to convene from 22 to 24 March 2023 in New York the above Conference, placing a focus on the sustainable management of water resources.

By further terms, the organ would welcome an offer by the Governments of Tajikistan and the Netherlands to co-host and fund the Conference.  It would also decide that the Conference should identify progress made in implementing the Decade’s objectives, identify possible obstacles in achieving them and pinpoint innovative ways to support their implementation and accelerate progress.

On that draft, the delegate of the Netherlands urged the international community to speed up efforts to implement water-related goals, adding that the year 2020 has reinforced their importance for sustainable development.  Similarly, Japan’s delegate noted that water-related disasters should become more intense and frequent due to climate change, stressing the need to make comprehensive efforts to confront this.

Also explaining their positions were the representatives of the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Botswana, Venezuela, Angola, Libya, Yemen, Dominican Republic, Tunisia, Mozambique, Gabon, Central African Republic, Djibouti, Kenya, Chad, Guyana (on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China), Egypt, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Ethiopia, Iraq and Afghanistan.  An observer for the Holy See also spoke.

The Committee will meet again at a date and time to be announced in the United Nations Journal to consider further draft resolutions.

For information media. Not an official record.